Public finance deals with the finances of the public bodies at national, state or local levels for the performance of his obligatory and optional functions. Public finance deals with the income and expenditure of public bodies or the Government of the nation and the principles, problems and policies relating to these matters. However, the nature and scope of public finance is discussed below:
The Nature And Scope Of Public Finance :
Nature of Public Finance
The Nature And Scope Of Public Finance : Public finance is a science as well as an art. It is a science because we study in it the various principles, problems and policies underlying the spending and raising of funds by the public authorities. It teaches how to collect taxes in the best way and how to maintain them economically and how to spend them properly.
As an art, public finance enables the concerned personnel to adopt the principles and policies in solving the financial problems of the Government in the best possible way to the maximum benefit of the society. The way to be adopted should be logical, suitable and proper according to the time. Application of various principles and policies depends much on the ability of the personnel in the Government how best he can extract from it in the public interest.
Scope of Public Finance
The scope of public finance includes the following four types of activities-
1) Public Revenues. In this part of public finance, we study the various sources from which the Government collects revenues. Tax is the main source of revenue hence all principles of taxation and incidence of taxation are the subject matter of this part of public finance.
(2) Public Expenditure. In order to perform the various functions, the Government incurs expenditure out of the revenues collected by the state authorities from different sources. In this part of public expenditure, we study the main principles of public expenditure. Along with that we study the effects of expenditure on various sectors and also the ways and means through which the Government keeps a check on its expenditure.
(3) Public Debt. Like individuals, the Government also borrow funds from the public to meet its obligations and certain abnormal situations like war, famine, floods or natural calamities. The reason is that the Government expenditure exceeds its income in abnormal. times. The deficit in the budget is met by the Government by borrowing the funds from the public. Now, the Government borrows funds in normal situations for its promotional function i.e. for the economic development of the country. This part of public finance deals with the borrowing activities of the Government.
(4) Financial Administration. In this branch of public finance; we study how the Government controls its financial operations or in other words we study the problem of financial management. It covers matters like preparation of budget and its approval from the legislature, the audit of Government accounts etc. and other related matters.